Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Fourth of July

Barbara Fritchie House, Frederick, Maryland

San Francisco, California

Grand Canyon , Arizona

Amarillo, Texas

Interstate in New Mexico

Smokey Mountains, North Carolina


Queens, New York

National Mall, Washington, D.C.

There's something about being an American in another country that makes one especially circumspect about what it means to be American, particularly when coming from an immigrant family. There's a struggle with the duality of being American, but also recognizing that there's another heritage and culture that you can lay claim to, and others may immediately associate you with.

I was thinking about the Declaration of Independence today, and the ideals that: 

 all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

and how those rights might be interpreted, and for whom those rights are guaranteed in our country today. I won't go through a list of the numerous issues, which many know that we are currently confronting ranging from climate change (which for some reason is still being debated as a reality) to healthcare reform to any host of other pressing matters. 

Instead I just wanted to present some of the multiple views of the United States that I've been blessed to visit and experience over the past few years from "sea to shining sea". When asked what it means to be American, I hope that we still believe in unalienable rights for all, but respect that there is no uniform experience to make one "more American" than the other.

Wishing peace and blessings to all my fellow Americans on this day, and those supporting and struggling to attain the rights to life, liberty and pursue happiness around the world. 

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